It's no shock to anyone that I'm an avid sufferer of anxiety.
It's something that manages to challenge me every day of my life and sometimes, I don't win that battle.
Sometimes instead of pushing forward, all I want to do is crawl into my bed and human-burrito myself until I see the following day's sunrise. And to be frank, that's completely OK. Sometimes my body literally does not have enough energy to push through that film of fog so I decided to let it win.
To live with an anxiety disorder is almost like living in a bubble.
Every day of your life, you're nervously waiting for that bubble to pop. When it does, it's like the clarity of life disappears. Anything can trigger an anxiety attack for me. Sometimes I don't even know what it's caused by but I know it's happening. Anxiety attacks for me consist of blurry vision, which is the number one giveaway for me, shaky hands, and the need to fidget with something. Any time I'm suffering from one, my heart feels like it's beating about a million and one beats per minute. Sometimes I genuinely just feel like it'll jump out of my chest and head for the door. It gets worse the more attention I pay to it.
In order to calm down, I will fidget with just about anything, that is exactly where my nasty habit of nail-biting evolved from.
Now, I just pick off my nail polish or dig my nails into my side to calm down. It's almost like a sense of control. You can't wish the anxiety attack away but you can make it better by focusing on something else. I also learned the "Five Senses" method which can ease the pain of an attack. I usually start by breathing in for three seconds, holding my breath for five, and exhaling for seven seconds. Next, I find one thing that appeals to each of my sense. For example, something I can touch. I'll focus on the texture of it and its shape. Then something I can taste. I'll drink some water to calm down and focus my mind on the coldness of it.
Then I continue with the other three senses until I can steady my breathing.
Dealing with anxiety or panic disorder is not easy. That's exactly why it's so important to be patient if your loved ones deal with it. The number one thing is not to tell them to "relax" or "calm down" and that it's "just in their head." Trust me, we know. We have no control over this. This is something we wouldn't wish upon anyone and it's certainly not something we chose to deal with. Everyone has their own way of coping so next time, sit your loved one down and ask them what you can do to ease their pain when they're suffering from severe anxiety. It won't cure them but it'll relieve some of the fear that is caused by it.
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
You wouldn't tell someone with heart disease that they're just making it up, would you? It's a serious issue that needs to be talked about and taken more seriously. According to Teen Mental Health, 1 in 5 young people, (that's 20 percent!) suffer from a mental illness.
Check up on your friends and make sure to take care of yourself. Taking care of your health is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. If you need help, please reach out and do your research about visiting a therapist. Mental and physical health positively correlate so make sure you understand how you feel and face your problems head-on so they don't become worse.
You are strong and you will get through it.